California Governor Imposes New Restrictions, Forcing Many Poker Rooms To Close Again

Henrietta Strickland
July 3, 2020

A number of West Hollywood restaurants, which previously were limited to pick-up and take-out service only, had begun expected to host diners inside.

Los Angeles County continues to see steep increases in community spread of COVID-19, Public Health says. The state's positivity rate, which is the percentage of total tests returning positive, has risen in June to roughly 6%.

The Strike Team will be made up of CalOSHA, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Department of Business Oversight, the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Board of Barbers and Cosmetology, and CHP.

The governor appealed to Californians to exercise personal responsibility and stay at home this weekend, refraining from family and neighborhood parties, and wearing masks and maintain social distancing if outdoors. "One should not have to put their life at risk to go to work as an essential worker".

That said, Ferrer added that county officials are preparing guidance documents for when people can safely mix again. "We want not come out with an open heart, recognizing the magnitude of some of these modifications", Newsom said.

In West Hollywood, the city is granting temporary permits to restaurants for outdoor dining areas.

To encourage greater adherence to health rules, Newsom also said the state is creating "strike teams" of state regulators to more aggressively go after non-compliant businesses.

The current re-closure order will be in place for three weeks.

The new rules mandate certain businesses stop indoor operations - including dine-in restaurants, wineries, museums and movie theaters - for all counties that have been on the state watchlist for more than three days. Cardrooms were on the list of businesses that will not be permitted to operate until Newsom deems it safe.

Los Angeles County - the epicenter of the virus in the state - ordered all beaches closed for the holiday weekend after an "alarming" spike in new COVID-19 cases.

Bars in the 19 counties were also directed to cease operations altogether, an expansion from the seven counties where bars were shut down by the governor's orders on Monday.

Nineteen counties are on that list, including Santa Barbara County.

The counties included in the Governor's revised stay-at-home, including Los Angeles, account for almost three-quarters of the state's roughly 40 million population.

While neither Santa Cruz nor Monterey counties are affected by the closure order, Newsom also announced that the state is closing parking facilities at state beaches in Southern California and the Bay Area.

Those counties were placed on the state's new County Watchlist for more than three weeks.

Dr Jeffrey Klausner, an epidemiology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the new restrictions could be an "over response". Orange and San Diego counties have not issued such an order, but Ventura County also plans to close its beaches.

California had been reopening businesses on a county-by-county basis.

"This will be the last straw for a lot of restaurants" that already had reduced indoor seating to meet state guidelines for reopening, said Jot Condi, who heads the California Restaurant Association.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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